Plant J 2001 Jul;27(2):149-59
Laboratoire Génome et Développement des Plantes, UMR CNRS 5096, Université de Perpignan, 52, Avenue de Villeneuve, 66860 Perpignan-cedex, France.
The EMB 506 gene has been characterised as essential for embryo development. To provide insights into the role of EMB 506, which is hidden by the embryo defective phenotype, the ABI3 promoter was fused to the EMB 506 cDNA. The expression of such a transgene should provide sufficient protein during embryogenesis to ensure normal embryo development in homozygous emb 506 seeds. We show that homozygous emb 506 seedlings, partially complemented with the ABI3::EMB 506 transgene, can be obtained. Most of the rescued emb 506 plants are able to flower and to set normal seeds, but show mild to severe depigmentation of rosette leaves and/or inflorescences. This effect on chloroplast development indicated a putative chloroplast localisation of the EMB 506 protein, which was demonstrated by GFP-protein fusion. However, EMB 506 cannot be considered as a chloroplast housekeeping protein only, since EMB 506 is not present in all photosynthetic tissues. This study demonstrates the power of this simple strategy, which could be widely applied to other emb mutants and which may reveal similar or additional roles for EMB genes at vegetative stages of the life cycle.